Rightmove says added functionality for its tenant referencing portal is now being tested and will be rolled out later this year.
In its latest trading statement to shareholders, Rightmove says that the 2021 rebranding of its tenant services business as Rightmove Landlord and Tenant Services helped win new agent customers.
“The next iteration of the referencing product - which leverages Open Banking technology to increase speed and accuracy yet further - is already underway” the portal tells its shareholders.
“The combination of landlord and tenant products creates a valuable profit stream on top of the reference itself. In 2021 these additional services created an additional £4.30 profit per reference delivered. We see future growth in our ability to increase the number of tenants purchasing insurance therefore increasing the profit per reference and increasing our share of the referencing market” it boasts.
And it continues: “Our quest to reduce the time taken by tenants to complete their rental journeys, from search to occupancy, remains a focus, with our first fully digital rental-progression flow due to enter testing in the first half of 2022. In the medium term, this flow will significantly enhance our opportunities to engage with tenants and offer them a transparent view of their progress towards moving in.”
Elsewhere in its trading statement, which looked at the calendar year of 2021, Rightmove revealed that its pre-tax profit increased to £225.6m from £134.8m in Covid-affected 2020, while revenue rose 48 per cent to £304.9m.
Rightmove says it will "focus on revenue growth, with costs in the historic range of 25 to 27 per cent of revenues.”
The portal’s key measurement is Average Revenue Per Advertiser - for 2021 that was a record £1,189 per agent per month.
Relative to December 2019 (before the pandemic hit) agency ARPA is up by £120 or 12 per cent, driven primarily by product purchases, package upgrades and pricing actions.
However, membership numbers for the portal fell slightly during 2021 by one per cent: the total is now 18,969 with 16,110 being agency branches, and 2,859 being new home developments.
Time on site averaged 1.5 billion minutes per month during 2021 - this compared with 1.3 billion in 2020, and according to this morning's trading statement that it "reflecting Rightmove's trusted brand and the strong property market.”
Site visits totalled 2.5 billion in 2021 - up from 2.1 billion a year earlier.